Sir Iain Hall

C.E.O.  Sir Iain Hall

Sir Iain had twenty three years of successful headship before taking up posts with the National College for School Leadership and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. He has served on many D.f.E. working parties and committees including the Lancashire and West Yorkshire Academies Board.

He was co-founder of Future Leaders which is a national programme for training aspirant headteachers for service in disadvantaged urban areas and has achieved national and international recognition as a keynote speaker on topics such as leadership and urban disadvantage.

He was knighted for ‘services to education’ in 2002.

Our Purpose

Almost 7% of young people in England and Wales are privately educated in independent schools whose fees range from £10,000 to £30,000 per year. An analysis of A-Level entry and success patterns show that whilst only 15% of entries come from students attending independent schools, these students gain almost 50% of the A and A* grades that are awarded each year. With results such as these, it is no surprise that approximately 45% of Oxbridge entries come from such schools.

This ‘unbalanced representation’ continues after university, as the following statistics indicate:

  • 70% of leading judges went to independent schools
  • 68% of leading barristers went to independent schools
  • 54% of medics went to independent schools
  • 54% of journalists went to independent schools
  • 40% of our top scientists went to independent schools, and
  • 40 schools, mostly independent, produce 25% of the Fellows of the Royal Society and British Academy

It is clear that the ‘privilege’ of a child’s parents being able to purchase an independent education can readily open more doors for their children than are open to their peers in the state sector: it has always been thus.

There is little point in being critical of wealth buying quality education. Our challenge, as a multi-academy trust, is to gather the best practice from our present system, the independent sector, the remaining Grammar Schools, the best of the U.S.A. Charter Schools and leading educational research, in order that we can give our young people the same benefits and life chances – without the need to pay fees.


The Great Schools’ Trust was formed to help our young people break through these glass ceilings.